Dr. Gordon L. Grado

Dr. Gordon Grado is the Founder and Medical Director of the Southwest Oncology Centers and the Grado Radiation Center of Excellence. He was born in Waterloo, Iowa and grew up in the Midwest. He has been married for 23 years to wife, research coordinator and co-author of numerous articles, Mary Grado. They have three children, Katherine, Gordon Jr. and Michael.

Dr. Grado became interested in brachytherapy for the treatment of cancer in 1977 while in medical school. He received his M.D. degree from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and completed his internship at the University of Chicago followed by a residency to specialize in the treatment of cancer with radiation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Dr. Grado established his brachytherapy program in 1989 while he was the Chairman of the Radiation Oncology Department located at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. After reviewing various techniques and programs that were available to treat prostate cancer, Dr. Grado and a team of other specialists developed the first interactive program that would utilize both biplane transferal ultrasound and fluoroscopic imaging. This image guided, interactive technique had a marked improvement over previous techniques because it allowed for the precise placement and distribution of radioactive sources throughout the prostate. To date, Dr. Grado has personally performed over 4,000 brachytherapy procedures.

In June of 2000, Dr. Grado was personally invited by Jane Hull, the Governor of Arizona to be a member of the Prostate Cancer Task Force. Dr. Grado also is an invited member of the Arizona Medicare Carrier Advisory Committee. This committee, along with the Carrier Medical Director for the state of Arizona, review proposed and revised drafts that will then be accepted as the local medical review policy. Both of these invited positions carry a great deal of responsibility and commitment with them that our program embraces and continues to nurture. Our mission has always been to be at the forefront of our profession and these two positions allow our program to get information on state-of-the-art advancements, potential problems or critical issues to the appropriate government officials in a timely fashion.

Our program was chosen last year by one of the largest internationally recognized manufacturer of pharmaceutical and brachytherapy seeds and supplies for a new educational training course. Dr. Grado teaches advanced prostate brachytherapy technique and program development to other physicians and their staff The purpose of this course is to assist physicians who are currently performing brachytherapy to strengthen their programs through a greater understanding of the issues relating to dosimetry, ultrasound visualization and operative technique. This integrated program was designed to be highly personalized with individual interaction with our entire team consisting of our physicist, dosimetrist, clinical and surgical nursing staff who assist Dr. Grado with this innovative program.

For several years, Dr. Grado has been affiliated with the University of Minnesota Radiation Oncology Staff as an Associate Professor. It allows Dr. Grado the chance to work with an interdisciplinary team of experts in radiation therapy, urology and medical oncology to continue his commitment to conducting groundbreaking research and providing exceptional patient care. Because Arizona welcomes an unusually large population of winter visitors from the Midwest coupled with Dr. Grado's commitment to substantially improve the prognosis and quality of life for prostate cancer patients, this made the University of Minnesota and our clinics in Arizona a perfect fit. It also serves as an additional opportunity for the medical students of the University program to travel to our clinics in Arizona to participate in our programs to gain further experience.

Dr. Grado states, "At the University of Minnesota, I have the opportunity to participate in the care of patients from all over the United States as well as from other countries. Patients want to be treated close to home, yet they want to receive the benefits of cutting-edge research. I feel we can satisfy both of these needs by having a system that is easily reproducible at all of our locations. All sites share the same sophisticated software that lets us treat the tumor and spare the surrounding normal tissues.

Dr. Grado continues to work with radiation facilities around the world to help in the training and perfection of prostate brachytherapy. Among the international sites Dr. Grado has visited are San Paulo and Porto Alegre (Brazil), Mexico City (Mexico) and Beijing (China). Dr Marcio Fagundes of the Centro de Oncologia Radioterapica de RGS (COR) invited Dr. Grado to travel to Brazil and teach the seed implant procedure to urologists and radiation oncologist in Porto Alegre. Dr. Grado and Dr. Fagundes appeared on a television broadcast to discuss the procedure for patients interested in new treatment methods for prostate cancer.

Most recently, Dr. Grado traveled to Queretarro and Mexico City, Mexico to direct and supervise a training program in prostate brachytherapy. Dr. Grado was also the keynote speaker at a presentation to the Swedish Embassy in Mexico City. Teaching is an important aspect of Dr. Grado's career and he thoroughly enjoys interacting with medical students, residents and medical peers.

Dr. Franklin S. Danziger

Dr. Franklin Danziger is the Founder and Clinical Director of Southwest Oncology Centers. He was born in Danzig, Germany and raised in Newark, New Jersey. Dr. Danziger is one of the pioneers in Radiation Oncology in Arizona and was instrumental in establishing many of the radiation oncology programs in the valley. In his thirty years of practice, he founded and directed five of the most respected private practice radiation oncology clinics in Arizona.

Dr. Danziger is a Fellow of the American College of Radiology and has dual board certification in Radiation Oncology as well as Radiology from the American Board of Radiology. He enjoys tremendous respect in the medical-legal community nationwide and is considered a legal expert in radiation oncology.

Dr. Danziger has known Dr. Grado since 1988, and came to admire and greatly respect him, both personally and professionally. In 1999, Dr. Danziger sold Southwest Oncology Centers to Dr. Grado. Today, Dr. Danziger feels so strongly regarding Dr. Grado’s contribution and commitment to excellence in Radiation Oncology and Brachytherapy, that he has re-joined Southwest Oncology Centers as Clinical Director.

Dr. Danziger enjoys traveling the world with his longtime companion, Terry Carter and their AKC Champion Wirehaired Dachshund, “Sparky”. They enjoy entertaining, four-wheeling, Sailing, scuba diving and many other exciting activities. Between them they have 5 children and 3 grandchildren, and divide their time between homes in Arizona and the Virgin Islands.

Dr. Michael D. Sapozink

Dr. Sapozink was born and raised in Western New York. He and his wife, Nancy have been married for 18 years and have two children, Rachel and Andrew, who attend high school and middle school, respectively, in Phoenix. Dr. Sapozink received a B.S. in Engineering Physics from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the Sloan-Kettering Division of the Cornell University Graduate School of  Medical Sciences in New York City, where he first developed a keen interest in basic cancer research. He decided to extend his experience to clinical research and, following medical school at the University of Miami Ph.D. – M.D. program, received Residency training in Internal Medicine and Radiation Oncology at Stanford University, where he was mentored by Henry Kaplan and Malcolm Bagshaw, internationally recognized leaders in the treatment of Hodgkin’s Disease and prostate cancer, respectively.

He subsequently served for nine years on the faculties of the Departments of Radiation Oncology at the University of Utah Medical Center and the University of Southern California Medical Center. When he left USC in 1991 as a tenured Associate Professor, he was recognized as an international expert in the treatment of cancer by combining hyperthermia (heat treatment) with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy. As the Medical Director of the Division of Radiation Oncology at the Kenneth Norris Jr. Cancer Center, he also developed very strong programs in Stereotactic Radiosurgery, Total Body Irradiation for Bone Marrow Transplant conditioning, and Low and High Dose rate brachytherapy. He has published numerous peer reviewed manuscripts, book chapters and abstracts in these areas, and served on multiple editorial boards, national scientific advisory committees, national cooperative cancer research groups and national professional societies.

In 1991 he and Nancy decided to move from Los Angeles to Phoenix to raise their family and Dr. Sapozink has been the Medical Director of the Radiation Oncology department at Good Samaritan Medical Center for 14 years. In addition to developing strong clinical programs for radiotherapy treatment of breast cancer, head and neck cancer, lymphoid malignancy, sarcomas and brain tumors, he has been the chief Pediatric Radiation Oncologist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Phoenix Magazine has recognized him in its “Top Docs” issues on multiple occasions. He has recently joined Dr. Grado and his associates to have the exciting opportunity to develop the use of Tomotherapy in the treatment of a wide variety of malignancies.

Mary Grado - Administrator

Mary was born and raised in Wisconsin. She met Dr. Grado in Rochester, MN and they were married in 1980. She received her Master's Degree in Nursing from the University of Minnesota and taught Nursing at the University of Nebraska. In addition to being a mother of three, she has also taught high school in the Scottsdale School System, and in 1998, helped Dr. Grado open his private practice. Since then, she has served many different roles in the company, and in February 2005 became its clinic administrator. Her hobbies include reading, investment club, and watching the Desert Mountain High School Marching Band.

Carrie Patrone - RN, Nurse Manager

Carrie was born in California and raised Arizona. She graduated from nursing school in 1988 and started working for Mayo Clinic with Dr. Grado in 1991. She left Mayo Clinic with Dr. Grado to help start up his brachytherapy clinic and has been with him ever since. Carries has a handsome husband Michael, five children and one grandson. She enjoys softball, golf, and sleeping in on Saturday. Sunday is her favorite day for church and family time.

Scott Thompson - CMD, Medical Dosimetrist

Scott was born and raised in east central Illinois. He has worked as a medical dosimetrist and radiation therapist with Dr. Grado since 1997. Scott enjoys spending time with his wife, Elizabeth, listening to music, hiking, and traveling.

Christy Grant - Radiation Therapist

Christy was born and raised in Brookfield, WI. She has worked with Dr. Grado since 1996. Christy enjoys watching her children's sporting events and spending time with friends.

Brad Locke - Block Fabricator/Therapist Assistant

Brad was born in Wisconsin. He came to the Phoenix area in 1985. Brad has known and worked with Dr. Grado since 1992. He enjoys sports and spending time with his family and his new baby daughter.

Gloria Trevino - Brachytherapy Coordinator

Gloria is a native of Arizona. She is married with two daughters and six grandchildren. Gloria has been in the medical field for 20 years. She followed Dr. Grado and Carrie from the Mayo Clinic. Gloria's hobbies include dancing and attending football games, GO CARDINALS!

Vickie Beougher - Patient Services Coordinator

Vickie was raised in Ohio, lived in California for 13 years and then Florida for 3 years. She moved to Phoenix in 1995. Vickie has been in the medical field for over 20 years and has been with Dr. Grado for 8 years. She is married with two sons, one daughter, two step-sons, and three grandchildren. Vickie enjoys spending time with her husband and children and walking her dogs.

Angela Hughes - Transcriptionist

Angela is originally from Fresno, CA. She moved to the Phoenix area as a teenager with her family in the early 80’s and has been here ever since. Angela has been married 14 years and loves spending time with her husband. She has one dog and three cats. Angela enjoys staying active and workouts out between four to six times per week. She also loves to go scuba diving. Angela has been working for Dr. Grado going on six years.

Sandy Padgham - Front Office/Patient Coordinator

Sandy is a native of Phoenix. She has been with Southwest Oncology Centers in the Glendale office since 2001. Sandy loves spending time with her children and enjoys family outings, hiking and reading.

Nancy Salamun - Radiation Therapist

Nancy was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and after finishing school there she moved to Arizona in 1983. She has worked for Southwest Oncology Centers since 2002. Nancy enjoys spending time with her husband, Larry, and their three children.

Dennis Wencl - Administrative Assistant

I met Dr Grado while I was employed at the VAMC in Minneapolis. My wife and I had the opportunity to visit Arizona in October 2006 and I began my employment with Southwest Oncology Centers in December 2006. Being a lifelong Minnesotan, the adjustment to sunshine and heat everyday would take some getting used to. My wife, our son and our Chihuahua joined me in our journey to Arizona. I am currently working on completing my degree in Business Administration.

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